Ellen makes her mark on Twain

DeGeneres: The Twain will meet.
DeGeneres: The Twain will meet.
Posted: May 17, 2012

IT’S BEEN QUITE a week for gays: “The New Normal” was picked up by NBC; the “E! True Hollywood Story” for Joan and Melissa Rivers aired on Mother’s Day; the president came out in favor of gay marriage; and Ellen DeGeneres was named the winner of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

Ellen is being honored for her stand-up work, daytime show, activism and books.

According to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in D.C., recipients of the Mark Twain Prize are “people who have had an impact on American society in ways similar to the distinguished 19th-century novelist and essayist Samuel Clemens.”

In a statement, Ellen said: “It’s such an honor to receive the Mark Twain Prize. To get the same award that has been given to people like Bill Cosby, Tina Fey and Will Ferrell, it really makes me wonder ... why didn’t I get this sooner?”

She will receive it on Oct. 22.

Folk-fest lineup

From Daily News popular-music writer Jonathan Takiff: What’s “the female Elvis,” aging rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson, doing playing the Philadelphia Folk Festival this year? Hopefully, rocking down the house at the Old Pool Farm, near Schwenksville. And proving that definitions of “folk” have always been a moving target for the fest, one reason it now lays claim to the title “the longest continuously running outdoor musical festival of its kind in North America.”

As announced at a press conference Tuesday night, Jackson is part of the newly reconfigured late afternoon-into-evening show set for Aug. 18, a Saturday, that also includes Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle with band, John Hiatt and Little Feat.

“Just as we’ve had in recent years on Sundays, there’ll now be no break between day and evening concerts on Saturday,” said artistic director Jesse Lundy. “The music will go straight to midnight on Saturday, with longer sets by each artist than in years past.”

Also announced for the 51st fest (yeah, last year’s will be hard to beat in weightiness) are the much-buzzed-about Canadian group City & Colour, Voices of the Wetlands jam band, gospel-scorched The Holmes Brothers, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Mary Gauthier, Mike Cross and Red Clay Ramblers, with more TBA. Tickets for the Aug 17-19 weekend are on sale at folkfest.com, with early-bird discounts through June 5.

TATTBITS

Broadway producers have announced plans to open a musical based on the Drew Barrymore film “Ever After” in the 2013-14 season under the direction and choreography of Kathleen Marshall.

“Ever After” will feature music by Zina Goldrich and words by Marcy Heisle. They also are teaming up for “The Great American Mousical” at the Goodspeed Opera House.

Who couldn’t see this coming? Lady Gaga will have to cancel her sold-out show in Indonesia following protests by Islamic hard-liners and conservative lawmakers, who said that her sexy clothes and dance moves will corrupt young people.

“I’m very disappointed,” said Mariska Renata, who had tix to the Jakarta show.

She said that by bowing to the wishes of “troublemakers,” authorities give them more power. “We are mature enough to be able to separate our own moral values from arts and culture,” Renata said.

Please, Mariska, such maturity will not be tolerated. n

—Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

Email gensleh@phillynews.com

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